When you think of Microsoft OneDrive, what comes to mind? Is it something similar to Google Drive or iCloud? The truth is, this versatile tool offers more than basic storage, serving as a secure hub for your files and photos, accessible across all your devices.
In this article, we will explain the wonders of Microsoft OneDrive’s desktop and app versions, unveiling their strengths in backup, sharing, and synchronization. Read on to learn all about Microsoft OneDrive’s capabilities.
What Does Microsoft OneDrive Do?
OneDrive offers various functions and possibilities. If you only need to get to your documents or media files, you can use it to store them online and access them from the internet. If you want the same files on multiple computers, it can sync them.
If you’re using Windows 10 or Windows 11, it can back up your device settings like lock screen pictures and desktop backgrounds, and even your browser favorites. OneDrive also syncs Microsoft 365 documents and lets multiple people work together on them.
Learn more about Microsoft OneDrive here.
Growing demand and importance of cloud storage and collaboration tools
In today’s fast-changing tech world, where staying connected is important, cloud storage and collaboration tools have become incredibly important. The old-fashioned ways of storing things are being replaced by cloud solutions that are easy to use, always available, and adaptable. As people and businesses work to make their tasks smoother, being able to get, edit, and share files from anywhere has become really important.
Cloud storage doesn’t just free us from relying on physical devices, but it also helps teamwork by letting multiple people work together on the same thing in real-time, keep track of different versions, and share securely. This big change to using cloud solutions like Microsoft OneDrive storage is about more than just how we handle information. It’s also about changing how we work together, come up with new ideas, and stay productive in our digital projects.
Microsoft OneDrive App: OneDrive on the Go for Maximum Convenience
Microsoft OneDrive stands as one of the earliest cross-platform cloud storage options available. It serves as an excellent alternative to Google Drive for saving and safeguarding your Android files.
In addition to providing cloud storage, the OneDrive app on Android offers a range of additional features. These include sharing files, safeguarding your photos through backups, encrypting files for security, making photo edits, and even scanning documents.
Let’s explore these capabilities more closely.
1. Basic File Backups
With the OneDrive app, you can store various types of files online, like images, documents, and videos. These files are accessible on all your devices, whenever you require them.
To make this possible, you should first download the app from the Microsoft App Store or Google Play Store and set up a Microsoft account. If you already use Outlook for email, you can utilize your email login details for your Microsoft account.
OneDrive’s no-cost option provides 5GB of storage, and you can expand this by subscribing to a suitable Microsoft 365 plan based on your requirements. If you only need to back up documents and a small number of images, the free plan should meet your needs.
To upload your files to Microsoft OneDrive storage, follow these steps:
- Open OneDrive from your app drawer and tap Files.
- Tap the + icon and go to Upload.
- Select the file you want to back up and wait for it to finish uploading.
- You can create folders within OneDrive to organize your files.
2. Share Files Securely
Sharing your files from Microsoft OneDrive storage is easy and secure. You can do so by:
- Access your OneDrive folders and locate the file you want to share.
- Tap the three-dot menu button and select Share.
- Choose the Can View option and copy or share the link using the desired app. You can change the option to Can Edit if you want to allow the recipient to edit the file too.
- You can Set Expiration on the link for added security if you’ve subscribed to OneDrive’s premium features. This will make the file available for only a limited time.
Hide Private Files and Folders for Extra Privacy
OneDrive includes a feature called Personal Vault. This feature allows you to add an extra layer of protection to your private files, such as passports, birth certificates, insurance details, and tax forms.
You can achieve this by using a password to encrypt these sensitive files. To get started with OneDrive’s Personal Vault feature, follow these simple steps:
- Open the OneDrive app and locate the “Personal Vault” option, which should be visible among your existing files and folders.
- You will be asked to confirm your identity by entering your Microsoft account login information.
- Next, create a six-digit PIN and confirm it. Once you’ve set up your PIN, you can begin encrypting your files by either uploading them to or moving them into the designated Personal Vault folder within OneDrive.
Access Synced Microsoft Office Documents in One Place
Any documents you’ve edited using Office’s online tools will automatically appear in your OneDrive account. This includes Word documents, Excel sheets, and PowerPoint presentations that you’ve created using Office online. These files will be organized within a specific folder in your OneDrive.
To find these files, open the OneDrive app and access the “Documents” folder. You’ll see all your Office-created files sorted alphabetically. If you’ve used Google Drive and Google Docs previously, you’ll find that OneDrive and Office sync in a similar way.
Open and Annotate PDF Files
You don’t need to install other PDF reading apps if you already have OneDrive installed. OneDrive includes its own built-in PDF reader that functions similarly to dedicated readers like Adobe Acrobat Reader. When you try to open a PDF file, OneDrive will appear as one of the available apps to use.
Moreover, OneDrive’s PDF reader allows you to add notes to the files it opens. This is handy if you want to make a quick mark on a PDF while on the go, using different colors for your annotations.
OneDrive Desktop: OneDrive on PCs and Laptops
1. A two-way bridge: OneDrive and your local storage
OneDrive’s Folder Backup feature lets you back up your computer’s files to the cloud. This ensures that your data is protected in case your computer crashes or if you accidentally delete something.
Similarly, the Sync feature in OneDrive keeps a local copy of your cloud files on your computer. This gives you quick access to your files and ensures they’re always up-to-date.
Together, these features create a two-way connection between OneDrive and your personal computer. To set them up, follow these simple steps:
- Click on the white or blue OneDrive icon in the Windows taskbar notification area.
- Click on the icon and choose ‘Settings‘ from the dropdown menu.
- Then, depending on what you need, follow the steps accordingly.
For PC folder backup
- Head over to the Backup Tab
- Click on Manage Backup
- Choose the folders you want to back up
- Click on Start Backup
- Head over to the Account Tab
- Click on Choose Folder
- Tick the folders you want to Sync
- Hit OK
2. Get Email attachments to OneDrive
You have the option to set up OneDrive so that it automatically saves all attachments you receive in Microsoft Outlook. This ensures that you won’t have to be concerned about losing any attachments.
To connect your Outlook with the OneDrive app, you can follow these straightforward steps in Microsoft Power Automate:
- Sign up for a Power Automate account.
- Click on the template labeled “Save Outlook.com attachments to your OneDrive” as displayed below, and then follow the instructions provided.
3. Link Expiration: Real-time Collaboration and Sharing
When you decide to share a file or folder using OneDrive, you now have the ability to:
- Choose who can access the link.
- Set a specific duration for how long the link will remain active.
This feature is especially helpful when you’re sharing confidential data and only want the link to work for a certain timeframe. You can adjust the access and expiration settings by accessing the “Share Link” options, as indicated below. Once the specified time is up, the recipient won’t be able to access the shared file or folder anymore.
4. Access OneDrive files without using local storage
Offline access and On-Demand files are both valuable features in OneDrive, but it’s essential to grasp the differences between them before choosing the right one for your needs.
Offline Access files are downloaded and synchronized to your computer. This allows you to access them even when you’re not connected to the internet.
On-Demand files, on the other hand, reside solely in the cloud and aren’t downloaded to your computer. Yet, you can conveniently access them through File Explorer on your computer while online. This eliminates the need to switch between applications and saves you time.
5. Personal Vault for added security
If you have sensitive information stored in your OneDrive account, you can enhance security by utilizing the “Personal Vault” feature. This feature adds an extra layer of protection by encrypting your files and demanding extra authentication before granting access.
Remember that Microsoft OneDrive offers more than just storage—it’s like your ticket to digital freedom. Moreover, the Microsoft OneDrive app and desktop sync work seamlessly, allowing you to access your files from anywhere. This makes protecting your data and collaborating easy and effective.
It does not matter if you’re a student, a professional, or simply someone who enjoys technology; you can take full advantage of what OneDrive has to offer.
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